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TAMERLANE                       207
doom of the Muzaffar dynasty, all the members of which
were put to death. Baghdad was the next objective of
the Great Conqueror, and, unable to resist, the great city
submitted after its Prince had fled.
The Siege of Takrit, A.H. 796 (1393).—From the erst-
while capital of the Caliph, Tamerlane marched north
and besieged Takrit, a fort held by a noted robber
chief named Hasan, who, confident in its strength, pre-
pared to resist to the uttermost The siege was the most
celebrated of the day. The lofty walls, which rested on
the living rock or merely connected portions of the cliffy
appeared to be impregnable, but the army of Tamerlane
was not to be denied. Seventy-two thousand men were
employed in mining the solid rock, and with such success
that at a given signal the mines, filled with combustibles,
were simultaneously set on fire, the props were burned
and many of the strongest towers fell. Hasan retreated,
fighting bravely, to an inner citadel, which was attacked
in the same manner, and the siege ended in the capture
of the garrison, the members oif which were distributed
among the various regiments to be tortured to death.
With pardonable pride Tamerlane ordered that a portion
of the fortress should be left to prove his prowess to
future ages,
The Second Campaign in Russia, A.H. 797 (1394).—
Tamerlane's next exploit was to march across Kipchak
to the heart of Russia. Moscow was plundered, and
Toktamish, who had dared to invade Shirwan, again saw
his country devastated. In the following year the Great
Conqueror sacked Astrakhan and strengthened his hold
on the Caucasus, and he concluded this arduous campaign
by returning to Samarcand across Northern Persia.
The Invasion of India^ A.H. 800-801 (1398-1399).—
Tamerlane's design of invading India was at first opposed
by some of his generals, who were appalled at the mag-
nitude of the enterprise. An omen was sought in the
Koran, and the verse " O Prophet fight with the infidels
and the unbelievers " came forth and silenced all objec-
tions. The army, 92,000 strong, was divided into three
corps. The first was despatched from Kabul against